Within the wonderfully diverse world of proteas, the Banksia ranks among the best known and most spectacular genera of the Australian Proteaceae. It now includes around a 178 species, plus 19 naturally occurring varieties and an increasing number of registered cultivars. These amazing botanicals are not only popular for their vividly colored flower spikes, their foliage is fabulous too. Banksia foliage helps create volume, structure and texture in bouquets, arrangements and displays.
The leaves of Banksia vary greatly between species. Sizes differ from the narrow, long needle-like, whispy foliage of Occidentalis (Red Swamp Banksia), to the jagged leather-like leaves of Praemorsa (Cut-leaf banksia). The most common banksia foliage, Integrifolia (Coastal Banksia or White Honeysuckle) is a bit fickle as the younger leaves are usually broad and irregular toothed, while the mature leaves are smooth and spear shaped. They have white undersides that tend to give the leaves a silvery look.
Banksia foliage provide a lush and long-lasting base for wreaths and they blend well with just about any other flowers and greens!